Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Mama V's 30th Bday Spread

First, thank you all so much for your kind words on our miscarriage post.  I got a lot of personal reach outs from people that have experienced similar things, so it really goes to show that we're not alone.  I had blood work again this week, and we're still not completely clear of the process after almost 2 weeks, but I'm optimistic that my body is doing its thing and we'll be ready to try again in a few months.

I've been wanting to share with you pictures from my birthday weekend with my parents, but they didn't seem to fit in all my vegan mofo posts.  So, here are a bunch of awesome things my parents cooked while we were home for Labor Day.  Mama V was in the kitchen experimenting like usual, and we had some super tasty eats!

My mom found this amazing Greek salad in a magazine, and the only non-vegan item in the recipe was feta.  So, she threw that on the side for those that wanted it and put together this hearty bean salad.  It had lentils, chickpeas, olives, and veggies.  Definitely a winner.

We grabbed some eggplant from mom's garden and sauteed them with a little curry powder and olive oil.  Then, she pulled out some home made bean burgers and we had a feast!

My parents keep Earth Balance in the house for me because they're awesome.

This was what we had for lunch as soon as we got to my parents' house.  Talk about hearty!!  It fueled us through hours and hours of swimming.

For dinner that night, we did BBQ tofu and corn, and I had mine on a bed of wilted spinach topped with salsa verde.  The first month of my pregnancy I could not get enough spinach.  I think we went through at least two of the huge organic tubs a week.

The spoiling really continued the next morning, when I realized my dad had made an entire loaf of home made cinnamon bread.  Talk about delicious.  I slathered it with vegan butter and went to town.  I also made a tasty tofu scramble that was devoured by the whole family.

My mom and I prepped and puttered in the kitchen most of the day.  We didn't really eat lunch because of our huge breakfast, and we were excited about these tempeh ribs!  I boiled them first, then marinated them in BBQ sauce all afternoon.  Then, we baked them.

We're not really strict on recipes at my parents' house, so I just cooked these at about 400 degrees until they got crispy on the edges.

My mom also made a killer corn and grain salad and some vegetarian baked beans.  Dinner was ready!

We also had a slaw and my watermelon salad on the side.  I know everyone is looking forward to fall and pumpkin everything, but I definitely don't want to forget all the tasty treats that really scream summer.  Believe me, though, I'm full fall steam ahead.  Friday, I'll be sharing with you our first trip out into the woods!

Have you ever made tempeh ribs?  What was your favorite dish you cooked all summer?  Leave me a comment!

Monday, October 5, 2015

One More Thing I Did in My 20's...

Yep, I got pregnant.  Then, I had a miscarriage.

Josh and I knew when we got home from Hawaii, we wanted to start trying to have a family.  I went off the birth control pill at the end of July, and a month later, we got a positive pregnancy test.  Of course, we were ecstatic.  We thought it would take months of trying to see that positive test.  While we knew there was a possibility that it might not stick, we shared our news and excitement with close friends and family.

It wasn't to be, though.  We went to meet our doctor at our 8 week mark, and immediately were told something was wrong with our ultrasound.  The baby was measuring two weeks behind, although our gestational sack was right on track.  There was no heartbeat.  Things did not look good.

We were so devastated.  Our doctor tested my HCG levels to determine if my hormones were rising at the rate normal to pregnancy, and we waited an agonizing 4 days to learn the results.  By the end of the week we knew... the hormones were dropping, the pregnancy was ending.  From that point, we had to decide what to do.  We could wait, but it could take up to a month for my body to miscarry naturally.  We could take medicine to speed it along, or I could have a D&C.

We took the weekend to really mourn and determine the next steps.  It was so weird to be pregnant still, knowing that I was not carrying a viable baby.  I felt pretty betrayed by my body, since it had not reacted and rejected the pregnancy when things went south.

Ultimately, we didn't want to wait, so over a week ago I took the medicine to speed along the process.  It was pretty horrible, and I won't go into details, but it's an experience I'd rather not repeat.  We met with the doctor last week, and we're still not in the clear, but things are looking positive.  It's going to take time for my body to clear out and be ready to try again, but we will try again.

Having a little time between the process and now, I know that this is a part of life.  It has been truly amazing to know the number of women in my life who have miscarried, and it seems to strange to know so many when it's rarely talked about.  The ending of the pregnancy is sad, because the dream that goes along with that hope of a baby is gone.  That's something that can be very hard to wrap your head around, and I know it will take me some time to work though.  However, I know this is a process, and that we'll try again.

October is marked as a month to remember pregnancy loss and infant death.  If you have gone through this, too, I am sorry.  It's hard on not just the woman losing the pregnancy, but her partner, her family, and her friends.  It's my hope that through discussing this that people don't feel so isolated and alone.

I know this isn't regularly what I post about, but this is a personal blog, and I feel like I can share with all of my readers.  If you're going through a similar situation and need to talk, I'm here.

Friday, October 2, 2015

And the Winner is....


While some of you really dug tacos, they couldn't compete with the warm, flour blanket wrapping the delicious contents of your burritos.  I have to say, I'm a bit surprised, but honestly, I love those cylindrical packages of flavor as well.

Looks like you guys need a serious taco cleanse, so after filtering for duplicate entries and spam, I'm giving the new cookbook to...

So, congrats,, you'll be hearing from me soon!  Thanks, everyone, for leaving comments and checking out the taco and burrito recipes.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Mid America Science Museum - Hot Springs

My 30th birthday was at the end of August, and I didn't get to tell you guys much about it because of Vegan Mofo.  So, today I thought I would share with you what Josh and I did to celebrate the big 3-0.

We live about an hour from Hot Springs, AR, so we drove down to have lunch and check out the Mid America Science Museum.  We had lunch at Lotus Vietnamese Vegetarian, which has a huge selection of vegan and vegetarian options.  I'm working on an article for Eat Arkansas, so watch for that.

After lunch, we took a stroll down Bath House Row and grabbed some lemon sorbet.  It was so tasty.  Then, we headed to the museum.

The museum was filled with all sorts of fun and interactive exhibits, and it was bursting with kids and families enjoying science.  If you haven't noticed, Josh and I are nerds, so we loved trying out all the gadgets and installations.

Our favorite was a new tree house they just built, filled with a rope course and a singing bench.

It was a beautiful day, but we didn't have time to walk around all the cool trails on the grounds.  Next time!  We're just big kids at heart, so we had such a fun day.

We definitely brought in the big 3-0 by having such a fun day, and I would highly recommend making the trek to Hot Springs to check out this beautiful museum.

What do you like to do for your birthday?  Do you like science museums?  Leave me a message!

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

VEGAN MOFO: Eating on the Road

I don't always cook in my kitchen, so when I travel, especially for more than a couple days, I really prepare.  Sometimes we're at friends' houses, sometimes we're in a hotel, and sometimes we're out in the woods.  I don't let that keep me from eating delicious, vegan food wherever I go.

Here are a collection of posts I've done on the topic.  A girl can't cook all the time, so I have included some of my favorite dining experiences when I travel as well.

There's no excuse to not eat yummy, vegan food wherever you are.  I want to travel more and eat more amazing things.  I know this is just the tip of amazing cuisine around the world.

Do you bring food when you travel?  What's your favorite vegan food city?  Leave me a comment!

Monday, September 28, 2015

VEGAN MOFO: Tacos vs Burritos

We're reaching the end of Vegan Mofo, and today, we have a GIVEAWAY!  More on that in a little bit.  Our prompt today was Tacos vs Burritos, and seriously you guys, how can a girl choose?  If you've been a follower of the blog, you know Josh and I have taco night on all special occasions.  Hell, we had a taco bar at our wedding!  You may also know, though, that we have been working on great recipes for freezer burritos for the past year or so, and that's become the staple lazy dinner in our house.  So, instead of me choosing which one I like better, I've decided to let you choose.

We're going to have a head to head battle, two of my favorite taco recipes vs two of my favorite burrito recipes.  At the end of the post, you'll be able to enter for a chance to win The Taco Cleanse, an awesome new cookbook coming out.  I follow Taco Cleanse on instagram, and I can't wait for the new cookbook.  If you want to read more about it, their blog can be found here.  (I have no affiliation with the Taco Cleanse, I just think they're rad.)

So, to enter:

Check out the recipe posts for each of our taco and burrito contenders.  Leave me a comment below on which one gets your vote and why.  Please include your email address in your comment, so I can contact the winner.  The last day to enter is Wednesday, September 30th.  On Friday, I'll announce who wins, burrito or taco, and I'll announce the winner.  The winner will be pre-ordered the Taco Cleanse Cookbook.

Ok, here we go.. IN THIS CORNER....

.... covered in adobo sauce and avocado, we have ADOBO CAULFLOWER TACOS...

... and joining their taco brethren in the fight, in celebration of the return of the NFL and New England Patriots, we have RED, WHITE, AND BLUE TOMMY TACOS

Now... battling the tacos, we have the burrito team....

... we have these healthy, easy, and ready to bake CHICKPEA FREEZER BURRITOS...

... and the double wammy powerhouse of BREAKFAST AND DINNER FREEZER BURRITOS...

So, which one will you choose?  Are you a burrito fan or a taco fan?  Leave me a comment to win!